SA Rhodes Must Fall Activist Accepts Rhodes’ Scholarship


SA Rhodes Must Fall activist, Joshua Nott has earned himself serious, angry criticism for accepting a £40,000 Rhodes bursary to study at Oxford irrespective of the fact that he was actively involved in a Rhodes Must Fall campaign at Cape Town University.

The Rhodes Must Fall campaign like the Fees Must Fall movement in South Africa, caused unwanted unrest after it spread from the University of Cape Town wanting to decolonize education in the country.

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Joshua Nott (23) actively took part in the campaign agitating to tear down Cecil Rhodes’ statue, arguing that it’s a symbol for colonialism and racism. He even likened the statue to “swastika in Jerusalem”.

Eventually, Nott and his comrades succeeded in their bid to have the Cape Town statue removed.

In November last year, BuzzSouthAfrica reported that the “Rhodes Statue Has Forever Fallen”. That was when the University of Cape Town’s application to permanently remove the Rhodes statue was approved.

With the foregoing, it came as a shock to many that Mr Nott agreed to receive a £40,000 bursary offered to him in the name of the man he recently, energetically campaigned for his statue to be removed.

Now, the SA Rhodes Must Fall activist is being grilled on social media platforms for being a sellout.

While he’s being called names like “hypocrite”, it was indicated that he’s the son of a wealthy South African lawyer.

Thus, many wondered if poorer South Africans don’t deserve the £40,000 scholarship more.

Commenting on that, Nott dismissed the insinuation that poorer South Africans are more deserving of the scholarship meant to facilitate social mobility among South Africans.

“If an underprivileged person could effect as much change… I would easily renounce it but I firmly believe in myself as someone who can effect immense macro change,” he said.

Also, Nott defended his decision to take the bursary saying he’d use the Rhodes scholarship to promote the original ideals of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign.

“When the Rhodes Must Fall campaign began it was less about the statue and more about student transformation at Cape Town University.

“It has become very un-intelligent. I think protests should not be degraded to that level…. But you can only get your voice heard if you engage in extreme or violent protests,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Rhodes Trust also defended the decision to hand the SA Rhodes Must Fall activist the scholarship.

“We pick young people of enormous ability without regard to any particular political affiliation…Mr Nott has been involved in a wide range of social change initiatives,” argued Rhodes Trust.